Archive for November, 2009

Second Futuresource report shows growing momentum for Blu-ray Disc

A new report on the European market for Blu-ray Discs and players has been issued by Futuresource.

In the second quarterly report (details on the first can be found here), Futuresource found that overall sales performance of both players and discs remains in line with expectations. Player sales are running close to three times 2008’s figure, and are expected to hit nearly three quarters of a million units by the end of the year.

The German BD market has shown particular strength as consumers embrace the platform faster than was anticipated. Sales of Blu-ray Discs in Germany are currently 3.7 times the level achieved in 2008. This growth is even faster than the other best performing European regions – such as the UK, where disc sales are three times greater than last year.

The report also looks at adoption of BD-Live. It found that Profile 2.0 models accounted for over half of all European BD player sales in the period from January to June. This share is expected to rise to 80% for the second half of the year. The report quotes impressive usage figures from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, who have had more than 6 million BD-Live users in total, and more than 100,000 weekly visitors to its BD-Live sites.

“We’re delighted to see Blu-ray Disc continue to meet or exceed expectations across Europe,” said Niels Leibbrandt, chairman of the BDA’s EU promotion committee. “These figures show that as awareness of the platform increases, more and more people across Europe are beginning to enjoy the unrivalled home entertainment experience BD provides. The figures put us in a strong position as the all-important Christmas period approaches and we move into 2010.”

Blu-ray Disc: Best choice for film and music enthusiasts

Research revealed by Munich-based msm-studios and the online platform www.bluray-disc.de shows that Blu-ray Disc outdoes the classic DVD when it comes to acoustic experiences – taking away the need to rely on different gadgets to experience the pure pleasure of the music.

The Pure Audio Blu-ray in 5.1 DTS-HD Master represents the future of music enjoyment. The system allows multi-channel sound, which turns a home cinema into an acoustic sensation.

The exceptional studio surround sound quality means Blu-ray Disc players are not only ideal for film and music enthusiasts but are the audio system of choice for consumers who don’t own surround sound systems.

Blu-ray Group Germany launches www.bluraydisc.de

A new Blu-ray Disc website has been launched, just in time for Christmas, to help German shoppers make informed choices on all things BD.  The site allows users to navigate their way around the medium of the future by placing all Blu-ray information in one place.  So, if you want to know the difference between a Blu-ray Disc’s picture and sound quality versus a DVD, make comparisons between Blu-ray Disc players or just find out which new movies have been released – the website is just a click away.

Not forgetting journalists, there is even a media centre which encompasses an extensive glossary containing all the important facts and stats on Blu-ray.

What are you waiting for? New UK Blu-ray Disc TV Advertising campaign makes debut

The British Video Association today announced that for the first time Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures UK, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment UK and Warner Home Video have come together to produce an advertising campaign dedicated specifically to promote the Blu-ray Disc format.

Created to raise awareness and excitement, the Blu-ray “What are you waiting for?” commercial features footage from some of the season’s most anticipated new Blu-ray Disc releases – Terminator Salvation, Ice Age 3, Inglourious Basterds, Snow White and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – and will be seen by 40 million UK consumers in the run up to Christmas.

The advert, which forms part of a bigger campaign, including a re-launch of the Blu-ray website thisisbluray.co.uk, will run across all major television channels throughout December.

Further details can be read here.

Universal launches Blu-ray applications for iPhone, Facebook and Twitter

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced two new applications designed to add greater user interactivity and immersion to its upcoming slate of Blu-ray Disc releases.

The Pocket BLU app for iPhone and iPod Touch is available now as a free download from the Apple App Store, and uses the device’s Wi-Fi connection to communicate with a network enabled BD player.  Once connected, users can use their iPhones or iPods as a remote control, giving easy and direct access to different menus and BD-Live content. It also allows users to access a video timeline to jump to any point in a movie, and to download exclusive bonus content. A pop-up keyboard also makes it easier to chat and send messages when the option is available.

Social BLU meanwhile integrates Blu-ray Disc content with social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter. Supported discs, starting with American Pie presents: The Book of Love, will allow viewers to login to their chosen network and enjoy a variety of features, including direct status updates via BD-Live. Users can also rate films, send messages and share content from the portal.

Upcoming Universal releases to use the new applications include Bruno, Funny People, 9, Public Enemies and Inglourious Basterds. More information will appear at www.universalhidef.com as the discs are released.

 

 

Blu-ray Disc Film Festival arrives in Belgium

Following successful events in Milan and Prague, the Blu-ray Disc film festival arrived in Brussels on October 28th for a series of presentations and briefings with media from the region.

Flemish and Walloon journalists alike were in attendance, including national daily newspapers Het Laatste Nieuws, De Morgan and De Tijd, as well as a broad range of technology and lifestyle magazines such as DVD Bizz, Gentleman, Femmes d’Aujourdhui and Playstation Magazine.

The day’s programme opened with a screening of a new demonstration video outlining the key benefits, features and upcoming attractions on the Blu-ray Disc platform, followed by presentations from the Benelux Blu-ray Disc promotion group and analyst GfK Belgium on the current success and future outlook for the local BD market. Next was a presentation from Niels Leibbrandt, chairman of the BDA’s European Promotions Committee, about international developments in the world of BD. Journalists were then treated to dinner before leaving with a new BD player and selection of discs.

Coverage of the festival has appeared in several national dailies and is expected in other attending publications in the following weeks.

Fight Club marks arrival on Blu-ray Disc with viral websites

Fight Club BDDavid Fincher’s classic Fight Club celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with its long-awaited debut on Blu-ray Disc.

To mark the release, two special websites have been created to immerse fans in the world of the film. WelcomeToFC.com integrates with your Facebook profile and gives it a Fight Club style makeover, while FightClubExperience.com allows visitors to download a widget which collates all Fight Club information happening on the web (from Twitter, Flickr, YouTube etc) in one place. It also gives access to exclusive video clips and of course, the famous rules of Fight Club.

As for the BD itself, in addition to a pristine cut of the film there are all-new bonus materials including two interactive featurettes – “A Hit In The Ear: Ren Klyce and the Sound Design of Fight Club,” which lets viewers remix four key scenes themselves with the help of Oscar-nominated sound designer Ren Klyce, and “Insomniac Mode: I Am Jack’s Search Index,” a set of interactive tools that allow viewers to immediately access any of the bonus material on the disc.

Fight Club hits Blu-ray Disc across Europe in November. You can watch a trailer here:

New demo disc shows full potential of Blu-ray Disc

A new demo disc showcasing all aspects of Blu-ray Disc has made its way across Europe. The disc consists of a five-minute promotional trailer extolling all the virtues of BD, including comparisons of the video and audio quality with DVD, examples of interactive BD-Live content and information on how Blu-ray technology works.

The video is illustrated with scenes from some of this year’s most anticipated BD releases, including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Fast & Furious, Public Enemies, The Hangover and Up. The message is clear: without Blu-ray Disc, your HDTV is just a TV.

The video, available to view below (make sure you click HD!), is an important promotional asset that is available to retailers and all BDA member and contributor companies to host on their websites and for use in store.

An early look at Terminator Salvation on BD

Terminator SalvationOne of 2009’s biggest blockbuster movies was undoubtedly Terminator Salvation. In advance of its BD release at the end of November, the UK’s Home Cinema Choice has an exclusive preview of the disc and its bonus content.

Fans will be pleased to know that both the Theatrical Cut and Extended Version of the film are included on the disc. HCC reports that picture and audio quality is excellent, suggesting that Terminator Salvation may become a favourite disc for showing off your home cinema set-up.

Moving on to additional content, one highlight is the Maximum Movie Mode, where director McG appears on screen to present an incredibly in-depth look at the creation of the film. This feature first appeared on the US release of Watchmen and looks set to become one of BD’s most anticipated special features. There’s also a large selection of featurettes that look at a specific scene or effect from the film, and a Terminator Mythology section to help fans decipher the series’ complex timeline. BD-Live features movieIQ and Cinechat complete the package.

Terminator Salvation is released on Blu-ray Disc in the UK on November 23. Head over to Home Cinema Choice to read the full preview.

Prague Film Festival boosts Czech awareness of Blu-ray Disc

Audience at BD-live

Following the success of the Milan event, the Blu-ray Disc Association arrived in Prague on the 14th October for the next BD film festival.

Designed to increase awareness of the BD format in the Czech Republic, the festival was hosted by Pavel Borowiec, Chairman of the Czech BD forum and Niels Leibbrandt, Chairman of the EU BDA Promotions Committee. On the first day, press interviews were followed by an exclusive pre-release screening of Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (the first Disney BD to be released in the region).

ExhibitThe following day, over 120 attendees made up of studio representatives, retailers and the press listened to presentations on Blu-ray Disc’s current market position, Czech distribution strategy and BD-Live. BD titles including Terminator Salvation, Mission Impossible 3, X-Men, Gladiator and Angels & Demons were also used to demonstrate Dolby TrueHD, BD-Live and the benefits of HD projection. You can view the festival’s programme here.

Idnes.cz, one of the most popular Czech online publications, attended the festival and wrote up a comprehensive interview with Niels on all aspects of Blu-ray Disc. Further coverage of the festival is expected in other print media before the end of the year.

Pavel presentsReg Desk


Blu-ray Disc Reporter


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